The Origin of Unmet Needs

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God wants to meet not just our physical needs but also our emotional ones.

Romans 5:6-8

Emotional needs can be every bit as acute as physical ones. That’s because the Lord has hardwired into human beings the desire for love, acceptance, and a sense of safety. These necessities are what cause us to seek out friendships, marriage, and, ultimately, a relationship with God. And at the root of all of our “heart needs” is the longing to feel valued.

Without a solid sense of self-worth, a person cannot fully receive love and acceptance. Nor can he feel safe or at rest. The uncertain man projects onto family and friends the God-sized job of proving his value. From them, he seeks constant verbal assurance and displays of their loyalty. The problem is that no human can be an inexhaustible emotional resource.

Inevitably, basing worth on people’s judgments and acts of love can have a “yo-yo” effect on self-image—it’s down, it’s up, it’s down again. Besides, no one can build an adequate collection of good opinions to substitute for God’s faithfulness and dedication to us. On the cross, Jesus Christ gave the only accurate measure of our significance: He considered every single person worth dying for. We can’t buy or earn God’s unconditional love. It is ours to receive with an open heart. Jesus’ sacrifice stands as proof that we are of infinite value to the Sovereign of the universe.

God desires to be our unlimited emotional resource. In fact, if our self-worth is based upon anything but Him, then it is unstable. A rock-solid self-image is rooted in the recognition of who we are in Christ—beloved, redeemed, and holy children. Nothing changes His opinion.

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